The big stir of the week for me and many other social media tragics was when Jeremiah Owyang created a flurry, no, a storm of activity on Twitter, with his post Some Conversations have shifted to Twitter.
Twitter is becoming a major communication tool for me lately. There are more intimate conversations being held on this next-generation chat room, and it’s filled with early adopters and those who are trying to reach them.
For anyone who came in late, Tom Evslin provides a good explanation of Twitter and how it works: he points to Jeff Pulver as an example of someone who makes extensive use of Twitter.
Back in August this year I posted about how using Twitter got me invited to be on a lunchtime bloggers’ panel for a Microsoft event and that this had encouraged me to think more positively about Twitter.
And at BlogWorld Expo in October I started to experiment with Twitter as an alternative to live blogging of conference sessions. I found I could do tweets to share insights and bon mots, whereas trying to follow the session and blog it in a regular post proved to be a task I was not seriously up to. One little problem there was that I had assumed I could log in to Twitter later and retrieve the archive of my tweets about a couple of sessions, but when I tried to do that I was quite unsuccessful. I’m sure someone has a neat way to solve that problem.
Anyway, Jeremiah’s Tuesday post included an invitation for readers to join the others who follow him on Twitter (he said he’d reciprocate), and also an encouragement for readers to leave their Twitter link in the comments section so that other readers could connect with them as followers. In an update on the post, Jeremiah reported that in the intervening three hours he had acquired fifty new followers and the comment count on the blog post was up to 160 (up to 399 at this posting). And from the twitstream it was clear that a lot of people were making new connections. Myself included.
Having left a comment and my Twitter link on Jeremiah’s post, I saw quite a shower of messages from Twitter about new followers. I’ve been going through and reciprocating with most. There are a few that I’m not sure about yet because I can’t see that there is a person at the link, as distinct from a company.
Where is all this heading? I don’t believe any of us really knows.
But I am enjoying the process, the learnings and the new connections. I’m now following and being followed by a whole new bunch of people who evidently share my fascination with social media, a number of them with very impressive credentials in the field. And I’m picking up on breaking stories faster than I would from checking my RSS feed reader.
Distraction potential increased? Perhaps. But one person’s distraction is another’s “aha!” moment or link to a blog post that provides a piece of business-crucial information or insight.
Will it work in business for people who aren’t preoccupied with social media professionally? I believe it can.
And I personally feel that for home based professionals in particular it could work well as the new water-cooler, where you pick up on what’s not in the official communiques but can mean the difference between being in and out of the professional loop.
Getting some people to see how it might work for them could be the hard bit.
Have you tried lately to explain Twitter to someone who doesn’t use it? Have you tried to explain how this might have some business applications? It’s interesting – especially when you see people looking at you with that look that says “I thought you were living somewhere off the planet, but until this precise moment I hadn’t realized how much”.
No, I think right now it’s still an early adopter thing, but I’m anticipating that people will increasingly find practical business uses for Twitter.
Dedicated tweeter Frank Arrigo picks up on the Jeremiah-triggered Twitter Tuesday.
Nick Hodge talks about The Immersive Conversation.
And from Frank’s post I learned about Tweet Scan, where I have now signed up to get some Twitter updates via a daily email burst. And that could help me solve the problem I struck at BlogWorld Expo, i.e. having an accessible archive of my own tweets.
My Twitter link is http://www.twitter.com/beachblogger and emulating Jeremiah I invite readers of this blog to connect with me.
I’d love to hear of examples of where Twitter is being used effectively – or even experimentally – as a business tool, whether by solo professionals or companies.